Introducing: the Developer Experience Working Group

Hello Open edX developers! :wave:

We (@Rebecca_S_Graber and @kmccormick) are starting a Developer Experience (“DevExp”) Working Group, with the goal of cooperating to improve the experience of developers working on the Open edX Platform.

Background :city_sunset:

The past year has shown exciting movement in various aspects of our developer tooling, including the Tutor V1 plugin API and other new Tutor dev features, the Tutor quickdev proposal, MFE Runtime Configuration, evaluating Tutor as a Devstack replacement at 2U, Jeremy’s holistic vision for an Open edX development environment, multiple threads about hosted development/testing environments, cleanup of the in-repo Dockerfiles, and the continuous removal of tooling cruft and complexity from edx-platform.

These efforts sometimes complement one another and sometimes diverge. One result of this is that Open edX has two prominent development environments (Devstack and Tutor), each with their own benefits, issues, userbases, and maintainers. That’s OK–it is fine to be pursuing multiple solutions to the same problem! What’s important though, is that leaders of these various efforts are able to efficiently communicate and coordinate. We think we could be doing a better job at that, and that’s why we’re excited to get this working group going.

How we will work :gear:

Like any other working group, DevExp WG will be open to anyone who wants to participate. There is no formal membership.

We believe that the folks interested in participating will live in various timezones and may or may not be able to make meetups, so the group’s primary working model will be asynchronous:

  • Slack for status updates and questions
  • GitHub Issues for tracking projects and discussing changes
  • These forums for general discussion and announcements

However, there’s value in talking face-to-face, so for those interested, we’ll hold voluntary DevExp meetups every two weeks with time for:

  • Demos
  • Sharing accomplishments or challenges
  • Open discussion (with notes taken for those who can’t make it)

These details and more are collected on the DevExp WG wiki page.

What we will do :building_construction:

Are we going to immediately declare which development environment everyone should use, be maintainers of all developer-related repositories, and tackle all issues related to Open edX the developer experience?

…no, definitely not now, maybe not ever.

Instead, we’d like to start small: we’d like to capture each of the developer-experience-related projects that are already in progress in one place, specifically as epics on our board, and get a “point person” assigned to each one. We can help each other out with questions in Slack and learn about one another’s progress through meetups, forum posts, etc. It’ll be easier for other community members to see what work is going on, and if they’re interested, get involved too.

Eventually, we think we’ll find ways to cooperate across projects, and when there is capacity we can talk about what new initiatives to pick up, and whether it’s appropriate for the working group to maintain any pieces of the puzzle.

Picking a time for meetups :calendar:

We are hoping to find one hour, every other week.

The range we are considering is 1400-1700 UTC (9am-12pm EST, 10am-1pm EDT), any day Mon-Fri, but not conflicting with an existing working group meeting. These times would be during the day for Eastern America and most of Europe and Africa, and would be in the evening for the Middle East.

Let us know if you’re interested :raised_hand:

Please comment below if you’d like to participate!

If you would like to come to the meetups, please let us know your time preferences below before Fri, Dec 9. If your timezone isn’t compatible, let us know anyway, and we’ll see if there’s enough interest to get a second meeting slot going.

Kyle and Rebecca


FYI: @regis @cmuniz @mafermazu @jmbowman @zhancock_edx @chaugh @jnagro-edx @Axim @ARMBouhali

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More FYIs: @braden @Fox_Piacenti @tutor-maintainers @nedbat @Kelly_Buchanan @adzuci @NIXKnight @Muhammad_Ahtisham @Soban_Javed @lpm0073

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@tramck @edazzo

This sounds pretty cool! Count me in. I don’t have a preference for the meeting :wink:


I love the idea. This will hopefully help us exchange interesting information and progress around DevExp projects.

You can count me in.

The suggested time for meeting is okay for me.

The projects I’m currently interested in:

  • directly: tutor improvement
  • indirectly: GitHub to pypi dependencies (benefits a
    tutor improvement I started working on a while ago)
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The suggested times work for me. Still plugging away at the persistent mount plugin when I get a chance.

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Fridays are most flexible for me right now.

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I can make any of these suggested times work. Count me in.

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Interested in this group, especially to obtain specific advice on how to configure email settings.

I’m interested! I should be able to make those times

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Hell yeah! I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it to the meetings, but I love the fact that you want to communicate mostly with asynchronous tools.

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Psyched about all the interest so far :smile:

The working group will be focused on building & improving developer tooling. If you are looking for configuration advice, please make posts in the Site Operators section of these forums or in the #ops Slack channel.

I might drop in occasionally because of the potential intersection between BTR, DevExp and a potential DevOps working group.

Please record the meetings so we can watch them if we cannot attend. Thank you.


@kmccormick @Rebecca_S_Graber, thanks for sharing this and converting tutor adoption into a working group; I think it’s a good decision. I’m interested in this WG, and my time zone is EDT; for that, I don’t have a problem with the proposed time.

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@UsamaSadiq and @Soban_Javed have expressed their interest as well.

I’m definitely interested!

Is there anything that we need to do to get invited to the meeting and the slack group?

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@justin-jones great to hear. The meeting time is here, open to anyone with the zoom link. The Slack group is #wg-developer-experience , also open to anyone.